Russian President Boris Yeltsin's statement explaining his dismissal of Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov:

Today I made a difficult decision _ dismissed Prime Minister Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov from his post.

Yevgeny Maksimovich arrived at a very difficult moment _ a period of a harsh crisis in the country. Primakov's appointment was supported by all political forces. To his name people connect the stabilization of the situation in the economy and the social sphere. I want to express the warmest and most sincere words of gratitude to him for all he has done. And, above all, for the valiance he demonstrated by agreeing to head the government in this difficult situation.

True, the government has fully carried out its tactical task. But the situation in the economy still isn't improving. The question of the economic strategy, today, nine months later, still remains open.

We have no right to put off making decisions that are necessary for the revival of the economy for another six months _ until the end of the election campaign. Delays and procrastination, I am sure, are the most serious blow today to stability in the economy and the social sphere. It is the greatest danger on the eve of decisive elections to the State Duma.

Sergei Vadimovich Stepashin was appointed acting prime minister. His candidacy is supported by Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov. He is well known for his successful work in the government, in law enforcement bodies, for his active work in Russia's `hot spots.'

The candidacy of Sergei Vadimovich Stepashin is presented for review by the State Duma.

I am sure that the new premier is capable of putting the required dynamism and energy into the Cabinet's work.